As co-founder of An Cosán, a centre for learning, leadership and enterprise, Katherine has witnessed first-hand that investment in education is an investment in our society.
Funding for primary and secondary schools is inadequate. By ensuring every child reaches their full potential we can achieve better educated and healthier workers as well as greater equality. Katherine also supports the calls for ending the religious discrimination in school admissions against unbaptised children.
Katherine agrees with parents, students and teachers in Dublin South West that we need smaller classrooms in well-funded primary and schools. By reducing class sizes we can meet the needs of all students and support them individually.
The potential of the community education sector hasn’t been fully recognised in Ireland and requires investment and encouragement.
Affordable third level education must be realised with proper grants, supports and fair fee structures so education is accessible to everyone. Katherine has also been a strong advocate for the rights of lone parents to higher education.
As an Oireachtas member and community activist Katherine is a strong voice for older people and works in partnership with local active retirement groups. At every opportunity she fights to increase community services and to protect the free GP care and free travel schemes from Government cutbacks.
Pensions must be kept ahead of the cost of living while cuts to secondary income supports must be reversed. She is standing in solidarity with teachers in their campaign for reversal of cuts to their pension entitlements.
Katherine is calling for the introduction of a universal pension which recognises the economic contribution made by homemakers and the introduction of a homemaker’s tax credit that actively recognises the contribution of care.
Katherine supports the abolition of mandatory retirement age. In the Seanad she has been a key advocate for the National Positive Ageing Strategy and the development of a UN Convention on the Rights of Older People.
Our broken system of politics must be fixed.
Katherine’s commitment to Oireachtas reform was demonstrated by her leadership during the Seanad referendum. She firmly believes the will of the people must be implemented with one-person one-vote for the Seanad.
The Dáil must also be reformed to balance the power between the cabinet and TDs, and she strongly advocates that all political parties should relax the use of party whips.
The gap between politics and the people of Dublin South West must be closed. Katherine proposes the establishment of a National Civic Forum, made up of citizens and politicians, to allow direct engagement on laws and policy.
As a former CEO of the National Women’s Council, Katherine is passionate about increasing women’s participation in politics.